In mid-May, the Jewish Community Center located in DeWitt held an open house for visitors to tour its Neulander Family Sports and Fitness Center. The unassuming facility has programs geared for both young and old with outgoing staff members who take great pains in making the experience fun, personal and physically rewarding.
Group Fitness Coordinator Joanne Landy recently introduced the JCC's latest trend in exercise -- the GeoMat -- a cushioned mat that links low-impact movements to shapes, numbers and compass-style directions. Landy gave a demonstration during open house and couldn't say enough about its benefits.
"[The Geomat's] slogan is that it's fun, safe and effective," Landy said. "It's effective because you get your heart rate up, you're playing games; you're doing all different kinds of things. You can do circuit training with weights, stability balls, medicine balls."
Landy first heard of the GeoMat while attending a convention in Philadelphia. While the GeoMat is now used at the JCC for all age groups, her goal at the convention was to bring something back to reach the kids.
"It's a well documented fact that childhood obesity is on the rise," she said. "And it's not just from what they're eating. It's lack of movement."
Landy said she wanted to create an environment for kids to come in and feel like they can have fun, play games, be kids, and still exercise. The GeoMat fit the description.
"Our motto is we're the best kept secret in town and we don't want to be," she said. "Especially when it comes to this. We're the only facility in the area that has this program."
The GeoMat is just one of numerous amenities at the center. Members can also enjoy an elevated running track, runners stretching area, a collegiate/professional competition length basketball court, two cross courts, volleyball and badminton courts.